Resources That Can Help – Financial Support

Tuesday, April 21, 2020



We could all use extra support right now. 

Financial Counseling Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Centers provide professional one-on-one financial counseling– free of charge. Take control of debt, deal with debt collectors, improve credit, create a budget, save, connect to safe and affordable financial products, and more. Appointments available by remote video conference. A counselor helps devise a plan that suits your unique situation. The most up-to-date scheduling information is available on the FEC Facebook page: Call 1-800-298-0237 or email


Essential Needs Services from United Way: Dial 211 Assistance finding food, paying house bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services, dial 211.  More info:


Accessing Food


Unemployment Compensation Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation: Information for Pennyslvania Employees impacted by COVID-19 Information on how to qualify and apply for unemployment.


Trouble Paying Credit Cards Contact your lender right away. Credit card companies and lenders may be able to offer options to help like waiving certain fees as well as allowing you to delay, adjust, or skip some payments.

What Should I Do If I Can’t Pay My Credit Card Bills?

Trouble Paying Your Mortgage Contact your lender or landlord immediately. Lenders may work with you to waive late fees, set up a repayment plan, loan forbearance. If I Can’t Pay My Mortgage Loan, What Are My Options?

Trouble Paying Rent Contact your landlord immediately and try to work out an agreement. If you are in need of rental assistance, you can also contact a housing counseling agency toll-free (800) 569-4287. They can help point you in the right direction. Additional Resources:


Student Loans Deferment You may qualify for a deferment or a forbearance. With either of these options, you can temporarily suspend your payments. Contact your loan provider as soon as possible to alert them of your situation and discuss options. Student Loan Deferment or Forbearance

Short Term and Emergency Loans. Talk with your creditors to negotiate more time to pay bills, borrow from friends or family, or explore low interest loans offered by local banks and credit unions. If you do take out a short term loan, make sure the lender is licensed with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities and borrow only what you can afford to pay back.  Also consider: Hebrew Free Loan


Paying Utilities Contact your service provider right away. Many utility service providers offer emergency assistance programs.


Insurance Issues Resources and information available for consumers who have insurance related questions.

Pennsylvania State Office of the Insurance Commissioner – COVID-19 Alert Resources


Avoid Scams Consumers should be on alert for increased fraud during the COVID-19 outbreak. You should be vigilant about protecting your finances and should not share financial or other sensitive information with anyone who contacts you unsolicited.

  • Your bank or credit union should not ask for your financial account details via email. If you receive an email, contact your bank or credit union with the contact information listed on their website.
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.


At-Home Financial Education Resources for Students Free activities for elementary, middle, and high school students that can be completed at home.


Additional Resources


Information courtesy of Vanessa Buffry of Neighborhood Allies for Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Centers, using the template provided by Washington State COVID response.